NEWARK, N.J. -- As if the Florida Panthers needed yet another injury to a key player, forward Shawn Matthias left Saturday's game against the New Jersey Devils briefly after being hit in the face with a deflected puck 9:56 into the second period.
Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov took a shot from the right circle that appeared to be blocked by Devils forward Ryan Carter before hitting Matthias in the face. Matthias left the game on his own power. He returned at the start of the third period with several stitches above his left eye.
Matthias has nine goals and 12 points in 31 games this season.
If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.
— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday